ODI GOAT: Inzamam v Kohli

A Pakistan legend takes on a modern-day Indian superstar in the round of 16 - who will progress?

Sam Ferris & Adam Burnett

06 May 2016, 05:06 PM

The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine who the fans think is the greatest ODI player of all time. We started with our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, to 32, we are now into the round of 16. Next it will be 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!


Virat beats Inzamam


The numbers: Matches: 378 | Runs: 11,739 | Average: 39.52 | SR: 74.24 | 100s: 10 | HS: 137no

WATCH: Inzy goes big in Sydney

#ODIGOAT Voting: Inzy was the shock winner of the first round, garnering huge support from his home base to knock off South African legend Jacques Kallis with a narrow 55 per cent of the vote. He followed that up with a comprehensive win over the great Allan Border, taking 70 per cent of the vote. 

Why he makes the list: A batting pillar in every sense, Inzamam-ul-Haq was a roadblock in Pakistan's middle-order few could easily overcome. Debuting as a lean 21-year-old in 1991, Inzamam was an explosive hitter capable of quick-fire cameos at the back-end of an innings. Those traits were never more evident than in the 1992 World Cup, where his late charges propelled Pakistan through to the title. As the years and runs added up so did his girth, transforming him into a colossus at the crease while never losing his fleet feet. It did however contribute to his dire running between the wickets and the downfall of many of his batting partners. Imran Khan called 'Inzy' the "the best batsman in the world against pace" but he was also sublime against spin, scoring more ODI runs than any other Pakistani. His career ended at the conclusion of the forgettable 2007 World Cup, but not before cementing his place as one of Pakistan's greats.

Performance we loved: Against tournament co-hosts New Zealand in the '92 World Cup semi, Inzy pulled out a gem of an innings to lift Pakistan into the final. The then lanky right-hander used all his leverage to whip the Black Caps to all parts of Auckland's Eden Park, registering seven fours and a six in his whirlwind 37-ball 60. It was a magical innings for a batsman whose star was on the rise, and the momentum Inzamam helped create was carried into the tournament decider and ultimately victory.  


The numbers: Matches: 171 | Runs: 7,212 | Average: 51.51 | SR: 89.97 | 100s: 25 | HS: 183

WATCH: Kohli slams ODI ton No.25

#ODIGOAT voting: King Kohli reigned supreme over Kevin Pietersen in the round of 64, claiming 68 per cent of the vote compared to KP's 32 and he was at it again in the second round, taking 68 per cent of the vote against West Indies star Chris Gayle.

Why he makes the list: At 27, Virat Kohli might already be the best batsman ever in ODI cricket. His technique is flawless. His mindset is unforgiving. His numbers are mind-boggling. In what may be deemed as blasphemy by Australian readers, Kohli is even better than Michael Bevan in a run chase. Settle down, settle down. Hear us out. Kohli has 15 centuries in 91 innings batting second, two less than record-holder Sachin Tendulkar with 17 in232 innings, and 12 more than Bevan's three in 81. In games where India has won batting second, Kohli averages 84, has 13 tons in 57 knocks and was not out 18 times (yes, Bevo averaged 86). Kohli averages 50 or more against seven Test-playing nations and no less than 38. It's a stunning record which gets better every time you look at it.

WATCH: Kohli's Hobart heroics

Performance we loved: This 2012 innings has been relatively forgotten, but it's still one of the most mind-bending run-chases in history. Needing to win inside 40 overs to secure a bonus point and keep their tournament alive, India were set an unfathomable 321 to win by Sri Lanka after centuries to Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara. The few thousand in attendance at Hobart's Blundstone Arena were treated to perhaps the best run chase of all time, as Kohli bossed 133 from only 86 balls to steer India to victory in the 37th over. It started a chain reaction for the dashing right-hander who scored three centuries and a 66 in his next four innings. 

#ODIGOAT First Round

Tendulkar v Sharma | Akram v Starc | Garner v Donald | Richards v de Silva | Azharuddin v Miandad | Dev v Vettori | Lloyd v Border | Jones v Clarke | Waqar v Johnson | Warne v Kumble | Hooper v S. Waugh | Imran v Hadlee | Lee v Akhtar | M. Waugh v Jayasuriya | De Villiers v Boucher | Lara v Amla | Gilchrist v McCullum | Gayle v Haynes | McGrath v Pollock | Anwar v Ganguly | Sehwag v Greenidge | Ponting v Gibbs | Dhoni v Sangakkara | Inzamam v Kallis | Murali v Hogg | Bond v Ambrose | Malinga v Vaas | Kohli v Pietersen | Symonds v Klusener | Afridi v Saqlain | Bevan v Hussey | Dilshan v Jayawardena

#ODIGOAT Second Round

Shoaib v Waqar | Jayasuriya v S. Waugh | Ambrose v Vaas | Miandad v Lara | Warne v Dev | Border v Inzamam | Gilchrist v Sangakkara | Richards v Jaywardena | Wasim v Garner | Ponting v Clarke | McGrath v Imran | Tendulkar v Anwar | Bevan v Sehwag | Symonds v De Villiers | Muralidaran v Afridi | Kohli v Gayle

#ODIGOAT Third Round

Richards v Miandad | Jayasuriya v Ponting | Wasim v Waqar | Tendulkar v Bevan | Warne v Murali |

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